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MEng Chemical Engineering / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Course unit details:
Process Integration

Unit code CHEN20082
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Department of Chemical Engineering & Analytical Science
Available as a free choice unit? No


The use of energy to produce products is fundamental in the chemical process industries. Energy sources such as gas, oil, and coal are becoming increasingly costly, and also lead to environmental problems. Minimising the use of external heating and cooling sources and making the most efficient use of available energy is a cornerstone in the design of chemical processes.

This unit will briefly examine the various types of heat exchanger devices available to transfer heat between streams in chemical processes, and evaluate factors that contribute to the overall specification and design of these heat exchange devices, including heat transfer coefficients, pressure drops, and temperature differences.

The unit will also evaluate opportunities to minimise and target energy use prior to the detailed design of the energy exchange (or heat exchanger) network. Such targets can be used to scope and screen many design options quickly and effectively without having to carry out the designs. Methodologies, including the well established Pinch Analysis, are developed and evaluated for both new design and retrofit (existing design) scenarios. Once design options have been chosen using targets (both energy and capital), then systematic procedures allow the targets to be achieved in practice. The external heating and cooling requirements of the chemical process can also be evaluated and included in this design. The use and design of fired heaters in providing external heating to chemical processes will be considered in some detail.



The unit aims to:

To examine, understand, and evaluate the use of heat exchangers, including networks of heat exchangers, within chemical processes in order to maximise heat recovery, and with regards to operating and capital costs. The unit will evaluate techniques to determine the effective use of energy within chemical processes, maximising heat recovery and minimising the use of external heating and cooling utilities. Techniques will be developed for the design of networks of heat exchangers within chemical processes that meet targeted minimum energy requirements. Additional heating and cooling requirements of chemical processes will be evaluated, and suitable types of hot and cold utilities required to meet this requirement will be appraised. Methods of integrating hot and cold utilities into chemical processes will be assessed. Capital costs of heat recovery will be examined with the use of area targeting approaches. Detailed design of fired heaters will be examined.


Learning outcomes

Students will be able to:

1.Assess the sources and sinks of energy contained in chemical processes and the significance of effective integration to achieve energy efficiency

2.Develop, evaluate, and demonstrate the targeting methodologies available to heat integrate chemical processes in order to maximise heat recovery, minimise externally sourced energy use, and improve energy efficiency

3 Appraise and assess the implications of the process pinch on heat recovery and external energy use,  and the heat integration potential on the design of heat exchanger networks

4.Develop, evaluate, and demonstrate methods of heat exchanger network design in order to achieve maximum targeted heat recovery and minimum externally sourced  energy use in chemical processes

5.Evaluate the sources of heating and cooling supply utilities, and demonstrate and assess methods of heating and cooling supply utilities integration into chemical processes and heat exchanger networks

6.Examine and evaluate capital cost implications of heat recovery by area targeting techniques

7.Assess and demonstrate models of fired heater designs for the production of high temperature heat sources for chemical processes

Teaching and learning methods

The unit makes use of a variety of teaching and learning methods, including lectures, problem solving, and formative assessments. All materials are available via Blackboard including solutions to the problem solving exercises.

Problem solving and coursework has been designed in order to demonstrate subject knowledge and competency in methodology. You will be required to make use of engineering calculations and general problem solving skills.


Assessment methods

Assessment task Weighting
Continuous assessment 30%
Exam style assessment 70%


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 24
Independent study hours
Independent study 76

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Simon Perry Unit coordinator

Additional notes

This course unit detail provides the framework for delivery in 20/21 and may be subject to change due to any additional Covid-19 impact.  Please see Blackboard / course unit related emails for any further updates.

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